What Psychology Is to Me

Topics: Psychology, Mind, Cognition Pages: 2 (448 words) Published: October 8, 1999
What Psychology is to Me

After taking Psychology 1000, psychology means much more to me than it did prior to taking the class. At the beginning of the semester, I was asked to define the word psychology, and the best definition I could muster was simply the study of the mind and how it works. After examining the large realm of the science of psychology I now realize that this definition was quite incomplete.

My initial definition simply covered the branch of psychology known as cognitive psychology, and this is only one of many areas that are actually included under the title psychology. Many psychologists focus on more quantitative aspects than the function of the human mind. There are several different areas that are more easily researched than that of the brain's functionality. An example would be behavioral psychology in which the focus is put on observing behavior rather than on the processes going on inside the brain that invoke the subject's behavior. This is just one of the many examples that illustrate this point, and that makes developing a working definition of the term psychology extremely difficult to attain.

The range of topics that are considered psychology is very surprising to a newcomer in the field. Everything from determining which parts of the brain are responsible for controlling certain senses to analyzing the influence of society on behavior and development is considered "psychology". So it is obvious that my original definition was extremely limited, but it has now been vastly broadened.

In addition to recognizing the broad range of topics that psychology covers, I also realized that there is large number of different occupations a person trained in psychology can hold. My original idea was that a psychologist was a person who dealt only with psychoanalysis, and I would imagine that this is a common misconception. The possible career fields for a psychologist is much greater than I had imagined it to be, it...
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